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Iran shuts 800 shops for selling 'unconventional' women's coats

Police act against new fashion for coats carrying phrases in English and which contravene legal standards
Iranian women are subject to strict laws on their public appearance (AFP)

Iranian police said they had closed more than 800 clothes shops to stop them selling "unconventional" women's coats, state media reported on Monday.

A further 3,000 shops have been sent warnings, the IRNA news agency reported. 

A new fashion for women's coats - known as "manteaux" in Iran - with English phrases printed on the back had attracted the attention of the authorities, who passed new regulations in July.

The coats in question tend to have nonsensical phrases such as "Keep Calm I'm the Queen" written on them, but they also have short arms and no buttons in the front.

Under Iranian law, women must wear a manteau, or similar item, that loosely covers the whole body from the neck down to the knee.

It is the latest crackdown on women's clothing in Iran, coming weeks after 450 social media users were "arrested or summoned" for online activities - including "crimes against fashion".

Gherdab, the cyber arm of the Guards, said the people targeted administered pages on social networks including smartphone applications such as Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp.

"These people were carrying out immoral activities, insulted religious beliefs or had illegal activities in the field of fashion," said Gherdab.

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